Incubator Construction Process
In order to pupate the larvae, I have to separate them individually into cups. I began separating so many that the cups were filling my room, covering many of my flat surfaces. On top of that problem, my room is too cold for them to pupate happily, so I needed to build a climate-controlled enclosed shelving unit with shelves close together, just tall enough for a cup, in order to maximize surface area. This means they must be sliding shelves so that I can access them and look into the cups from above. So, this is what I built:
It took a week. I got the wood from the Landlady's woodshed, she let me have it. The pieces I used for the sides were bowed pretty badly, so I built it with the sides bowing outward to the left and right, then installed a threaded rod in the middle with 2 nuts on the outside to pull the bowed sides inward. Here is a pic of the inside, the threaded rod doesn't get in the way at all:
With curved sides, I never would have gotten the shelves to roll nicely on their sliders, but the threaded rod trick straightened the sides out and so the shelves slide very nicely. I think the rod was a nice fix, but I have to be honest and give credit to my friend Reid who came up with the idea.
Also, I did not cut all of the wood myself. There are 9 pieces of plywood here in all, and I needed dead accuracy that could not be achieved with the circular saw, so I hunted for woodworking shops and began making calls. One of them called me back, his name was Tim, and he told me to bring the wood in and we made the cuts in less than 2 hours. Then, this is how the conversation went:
Me: "So how much do you charge per hour?"
Him: "...consider it a late Christmas gift!"
Me: "Hmm.. Would you eat Larvae?"
Him: "If there's no garlic in it I'll try it."
Me: "I'll be in touch..."
Here are more shots of the process plus the final result:
There is an electric radiator in the back of the unit set to the lowest heat. It works for now. I also need to install hinged doors to replace the plastic/velcro.